Enforcement

Migratory Game Bird Violations Lead to Five Guilty Pleas and Fines

Release Date: 10/24/2012

Oct. 24, 2012 -- Two Vermilion Parish men pled guilty in the U.S. Western District Court of Louisiana in Lafayette on Oct. 17 for migratory game bird violations.

Ryan Frederick, 23, of Kaplan, and Dustin Fontenot, 23, of Abbeville pled guilty to taking over the daily bag limit of white-fronted geese, hunting geese with an electronic calling device and for failing to maintain custody of their birds in the field.

Judge Patrick Hanna ordered Frederick and Fontenot to each pay a total of $2,155 in fines and fees and placed them on two years of probation, which includes no hunting of any migratory game birds.

In connection with this case, Zayne Greene, 23, Robert Russo, 21, and Drew Laborde, 21, all from Abbeville, pled guilty outside of court at an earlier date to hunting geese with an electronic calling device and failing to maintain custody of their birds in the field. These three men each paid $1,770 in fines and fees.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents observed Frederick and Fontenot on an afternoon hunt north of Kaplan on Jan. 12, 2012.  When agents attempted to make contact with Frederick and Fontenot, the two threw geese into a nearby canal to hide them.  Agents recovered 17 white-fronted geese and five snow geese from the canal and an electronic calling device used during the hunt after making contact with Frederick and Fontenot.

After further investigation, agents learned that Greene, Russo and Laborde participated in the hunt earlier in the afternoon in which the electronic calling device was used.  Greene, Russo and Laborde also left harvested birds in the field.

Senior Agents Justin Sonnier and Lonnie Campbell investigated this case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett L. Grayson.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Investigating Fatal Hunting Incident

Release Date: 10/19/2012

Oct. 19, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents are investigating a fatal hunting incident that took the life of a Lake Charles man in Allen Parish.

The Reeves Police Department received a report on Oct. 18 about a truck that had been parked on the side of Hwy. 190 near Rodeo Pen Road in Reeves for two to three days and notified the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO).

A sheriff’s office deputy found the truck and noticed a trail into the woods.  After walking the trail for approximately 100 yards, the deputy found the body of Donald C. Hodge Sr., 60, shortly after 5 p.m. on Oct. 18.

The APSO deputy found Hodge under a tree with a lock on type deer stand lying next to him with what appeared to be broken straps that would normally secure the stand to the tree.  Authorities did not find a safety harness attached to Hodge or the tree.

His body was turned over to the Allen Parish Coroner’s Office.

LDWF will be the lead investigative agency and do not suspect foul play.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Houma Man Charged with Deer Hunting Violations and Drug Possession

Release Date: 10/17/2012

Oct. 17, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited a Houma man for alleged deer hunting and drug violations on Oct. 11 in Terrebonne Parish.

Agents were on patrol in Terrebonne Parish when they made contact with Ryan Young, 34.  Agents found Young in possession of an untagged doe deer that he had harvested with his bow and arrow.  Young was hunting in Area 6, which had a bucks only season with bow and arrows until Oct. 16.

Agents also found Young in illegal possession of marijuana.

Young was charged with taking an illegal deer during the open season, failing to comply with deer tagging regulations and illegal possession of marijuana.

Taking an illegal deer during the open season brings a fine of $500 to $750 and 15 to 30 days in jail.  Failing to comply with deer tagging regulations carries a possible fine of $100 to $350 and up to 60 days in jail.  Illegal possession of marijuana brings a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

In addition to the fines, Young faces civil restitution for the value of the illegally taken deer in the amount of $1624.61.

Agents involved in the case are Senior Agents Dean Aucoin and Stephen Rhodes.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Arrest Fugitive in Terrebonne Parish

Release Date: 10/17/2012

Oct. 17, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents arrested a Houma man for alleged oyster violations on Oct. 11 in Terrebonne Parish.

Danny T. Billiot Jr., 25, was dredging for oysters in Bay Long when agents boarded his vessel.  After performing a vessel and license inspection, agents found that Billiot did not possess a commercial license, displayed improper boat numbers, failed to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) requirements and without possession of a fire extinguisher.

After further investigation, agents learned that Billiot had outstanding warrants in Terrebonne Parish for past fishing violations.  Billiot was then arrested and booked into the Terrebonne Parish Jail.

On Oct. 12, Billiot pled guilty to the charges within the eight warrants.  From April of 2007 until August of 2012, Billiot was charged with two counts of taking oysters from unapproved areas, two counts of failing to comply with PFD requirements, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license, violating recreational gear license requirements, failing to display valid certificate decal, improper boat numbers, and no boat registration certification, violating seed ground vessel permit regulations, failing to have commercial license in possession, unlawfully taking oysters off a private lease, failing to have written permission, failing to mark oyster lease while harvesting, failing to display proper number on vessel, angling without saltwater and basic fishing licenses, and taking or possessing undersized black drum.

Honorable Judge John Walker of the Terrebonne Parish Court sentenced Billiot on Oct. 12 to six months in parish jail with credit for time served, 18 months of supervised probation in which he cannot fish for oysters and must forfeit all commercial licenses, 24 months of unsupervised probation and a $400 fine.

The charges issued on Oct. 11 are still pending.  Failing to have commercial license in possession brings a fine between $250 and $500 and up to 90 days in jail.  Displaying improper boat numbers, failing to comply with PFD requirements and no fire extinguisher in possession each carry a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Joseph Arnaud, Senior Agent Ladd Turner and Agent Adam Tieben.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. Issues $4,400 In Rewards To Tipsters

Release Date: 10/05/2012

Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. (LOGT), a Louisiana wildlife crime-stoppers program, awarded $4,400 to diligent citizens statewide at their quarterly meeting on Oct. 3 in Mansura.

The group approved and dispensed cash reward amounts for tipsters who reported wildlife violations that led to 21 subjects being apprehended in wildlife cases.  There were a total of 12 cases presented and 46 offenses associated with those cases.

Louisiana Department Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement LOGT Coordinator Lt. Will Roberts provided LOGT members with information on each case and a recommendation for reward amounts.

“We depend on Operation Game Thief and these public tips to help break a lot of cases that might have otherwise gone unsolved,” Roberts said.

Anyone wishing to report wildlife or fisheries violations should anonymously call LDWF’s 24-hour toll free Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or utilize LDWF's new tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can anonymously text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the "LADWF Tips" iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge.  CitizenObserver, the tip411 provider, uses technology that removes all identifying information before LDWF receives the text so that LDWF cannot identify the sender.

LOGT was instituted in 1984 and provides cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of violators of fish and wildlife regulations.  Funds are raised through private donations, court directed contributions and through contributions from cooperative endeavor agreements with organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation and Quality Deer Management Association.

To make a donation to the LOGT that can be used for cash rewards, please contact Lt. Will Roberts at wroberts@wlf.la.gov.

LOGT meets quarterly throughout the year to review cases and dispense rewards.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Two Montegut Men Arrested for Shrimp and Boating Violations

Release Date: 09/28/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents arrested and cited two men for alleged fishing and boating safety violations on the Pointe-Aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on Sept. 26.

Agents cited Lance Billiot, 31, and Armando Brunett, 25, both of Montegut, for blocking passages of fish and taking shrimp with illegal gear.  Armando Brunett was also cited for not possessing a boat registration certificate, no running lights, failure to comply with personal flotation device (PFD) requirements and no fire extinguisher.

While on patrol on the Pointe-Aux-Chenes WMA and Island Road, agents witnessed a net tied to the bridge just below the surface of the water in front of the water control structure blocking the waterway.  Agents set up surveillance on the net.

A short time later, agents observed two subjects pick up the net from a vessel without lights.  Agents stopped the men and found them to be in possession of the net, which contained 27 pounds of shrimp caught illegally.  Agents placed the men under arrest and booked them into the Terrebonne Parish Correctional Facility.

Blocking the passage of fish and taking shrimp with illegal gear carries a fine from $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail for each offense.  Failing to be in possession of a boat registration certificate, no running lights, no fire extinguisher and failing to comply with PFD requirements carry a $50 fine and up 15 days in jail for each offense.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agent Michael Williams, Senior Agent Nick Guillory and Senior Agent Michael Marques.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Authorities Find Body of Missing Boater on Ouachita River

Release Date: 09/22/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents and Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies found the body of Charles Trascher, 64, of Monroe, on the Ouachita River in Ouachita Parish this morning, Sept. 22.

Trascher was reported missing shortly after 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 when he did not return home from a fishing trip according to his family.  Authorities recovered Trascher’s 17-foot aluminum vessel in the Ouachita River near West Monroe during the evening hours of Sept. 20. 

Agents and deputies searched for Trascher throughout the night of Sept. 20 and all day Sept. 21.  Trascher's body was found without a personal flotation device around 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 22 about one mile south from where his vessel was recovered.

LDWF had two sonar units on scene to assist in the search.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

*Amended* Authorities Searching for Missing Boater on Ouachita River

Release Date: 09/21/2012

*Amended*

Search and rescue crews are currently searching for a missing boater on the Ouachita River in Ouachita Parish.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents and Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies are searching for Charles Trascher, 64, of Monroe, who was reported missing shortly after 6 p.m. on Sept. 20.

According to family, Trascher never returned home yesterday from a fishing trip.  Authorities recovered Trascher’s 17-foot aluminum vessel in the Ouachita River near West Monroe last night, Sept. 20, and searched throughout the night.

LDWF will have two sonar units on scene today to assist in the search.  LDWF will be the lead investigative agency for this boating incident.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Three Avoyelles Men Cited for Wildlife Violations

Release Date: 09/21/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three Avoyelles Parish men for alleged wildlife violations on Sept. 14 in Avoyelles Parish.

Agents cited Kristopher A. Dugas, 21, of Marksville, and Eric M. Dauzat, 25, of Hessmer, for allegedly taking a six-point buck during a closed season, during illegal hours with artificial light, hunting from a public road and moving vehicle, without basic and big game licenses, and possession of an illegally taken deer.  Kristopher Dugas was also cited for taking deer with an illegal firearm.

Agents also cited Terry A Ducote Jr., 42, of Hessmer, for possession of the illegally taken deer and illegal possession of an alligator.

An LDWF agent received information that Dauzat and Kristopher Dugas killed a buck at night during the month of August.  During questioning, Dauzat admitted that he and Kristopher Dugas killed the buck at around 12:28 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 21 in the Fifth Ward community with a .17 caliber rifle.

The deer’s six-point head still in velvet was at the residence of Terry Ducote Jr.  When the agents went to Terry Ducote’s residence to take possession of the head, they also found an untagged alligator tail.

Taking deer during a closed season and during illegal hours brings a fine of $900 to $950 or up to 120 days in jail for each offense.  Possession of an illegally taken deer carries a fine of $400 to $950 or up to 120 days in jail.  Hunting from a public road and taking a deer with an illegal firearm brings a fine of $100 to $350 or up to 60 days in jail for each offense.  Hunting from a moving vehicle carries a fine of $250 to $500 or up to 90 days in jail.  Hunting without basic and big game licenses brings a $50 fine and up to 15 days in jail for each offense.

Illegal possession of an alligator carries a fine of $400 to $950 or up to 120 days in jail.

Kristopher Dugas and Dauzat may also be held responsible for restitution in the amount of $1,624 for the illegally taken deer.  Terry Ducote may also be held responsible for restitution in the amount of $375.80 for the illegally taken alligator.

The deer and alligator tail were seized and donated to charity.

Agent participating in the case are Sgt. Gabe Guidry, Senior Agent John Volentine, and Senior Agent Doug Anderson Jr.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Agents Seize 51 Teal on Catahoula Lake

Release Date: 09/17/2012

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited eight men for allegedly possessing over the limit of migratory game birds on Catahoula Lake in LaSalle Parish on Sept. 15 and 16.

Agents were on patrol on Catahoula Lake on Sept. 15 when they came in contact with four men that were leaving their hunting area.  During a license and limit inspection, agents found the men in possession of 28 teal, which put them 12 over the limit.  The men stated they were unaware of the four teal per person per day possession limit.

John P. Randall, 28, of Urania, Jereme B. Johnson, 27, of Ruston, Clint L. Cooksey, 27, of Jena, and Steven C. Douglas, 28, of Olla were issued state citations for possessing over the limit of migratory game birds.

On Sept. 16 on Catahoula Lake agents came in contact with four more men that were leaving their hunting area.  Agents again performed a license and limit inspection and found them in possession of 23 teal, which put them seven over the limit.

Casey M. Deville, 17, of Lecompte, Dusty D. Ducote, 18, of Alexandria, Austin G. Linzay, 18, of Lecompte, and Brandon L. Simmons, 21, of Marksville, were issued citations for possessing over the limit of migratory game birds. 

Agents seized the 51 teal from the eight men and donated them to charity.

Violating state migratory waterfowl violations brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail.

Agents involved in the case were Senior Agents Troy Mayo and Joey Merrill.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

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